The biopsychosocial formulation is a way of writing an assessment of a patient in psychiatry. As the name implies, it combines biological, psychological, and social information to develop a full picture of the presentation. Although it was actually created to be used in a wide range of medical fields, it is most often found in psychiatry. After discussing the origins of the biopsychosocial formulation, we create an example formulation using a well-known fictional story from popular culture. Then, we further discuss how to sort information into the biological, psychological, and social categories.

This episode may be most helpful to pre-clinical students, clinical students, and residents early in their training. This is a topic frequently covered on exams, especially for clinical students, who may be asked to write an example formulation.

Providers outside the field of psychiatry may find the episode helpful to encourage extra consideration of the psychological and social aspects of patient care. Or, maybe you frequently consult psychiatry and want to better understand their notes.